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Poster: BryanE Date: Feb 22, 2007 3:24am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pig as Brent

I ain't throwin' down the gauntlet here or anything like that, because it's not the kind of comment that warrants it, but I was struck by a couple of things there. While Pigpen's stage persona was that of a badass, by all reports, he was like a kitten on the inside. And Brent often tried to play up an attitude that was anything but sweet, being as prone as Weir, if not more so, to insert expletives beginning with the letter F into his vocals.

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Poster: ghostofpig Date: Feb 22, 2007 5:07am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pig as Brent

Sorry--I don't see many similarities, other than the fact that they both played keyboards, they each sang a few songs per concert, and they both died.

Pig's persona was very outgoing. The stage persona of the rough, gruff, hell's angel was just for show. I saw him offstage numerous times and he was a generally subdued, gentle man. He liked his liquor, but he was no over the top drunk. He had no problems with women. While it may be true that he liked the ladies, I doubt he had to buy any Brooklyn Bridges. He also had a steady woman, Veronica, who stayed with him up until a few days before his death when he asked her to leave so she wouldn't have to see him die.

His vocals were antithetical to Brent's. Growling, off key, mid register, while Brent was sweet, in tune, and somewhat alto. He got the high parts. Pig rarely sang WITH the others, save at the end of NFA--and that was just with Bobby.
Their playing styles were equally different. Pig's was loose and unstudied. He added color and maybe a bit more (on his blues numbers) from time to time. Brent was essential to the band on the boards; Pig was more of an afterthought, often being low in the mix (we could see him play, but not always hear him). Pig was the consummate showman, someone who had a strong stage personality and who felt very much a part of the band. Brent was more subdued (save for his strong vocals at the end of "Blow Away"); he always felt insecure in the band, as if he were not really part of the group. That was one of the things that fueled his depression.

Pig would have made no sense in the 1980's Dead; nor would Brent have fit in with the band in the 60's.

Whether you like Brent or Pig, they are antithetical to each other. Just look at them--look at Pig's scraggly beard and then at Brent's well trimmed, well coiffed appearance. If Pig looked like that, they'd have to have changed his name to pretty boy McKernan.

And, no the above is NOT a judgment for one being a better this or that or the other. Just different as night and day.*


*Brent sucks. Pig rules. Brent sucks. Pig rules. Brent sucks. Pig rules. And so on.

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Poster: Edsel Date: Feb 22, 2007 6:29am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pig as Brent

"Sorry--I don't see many similarities, other than the fact that they both played keyboards, they each sang a few songs per concert, and they both died."

Gotta agree.
To me, Pig seemed more real life, vocally, more adult without a doubt, and keyboard wise, I think Pig fit the groove quite nicely, in fact, Pig was a bigger part of the overall sound than any of the later keyboard players. IMHO.

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Poster: smi2les Date: Mar 5, 2007 5:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pig as Brent

keith was brent's piano teacher.

This post was modified by smi2les on 2007-03-05 13:54:59

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Poster: BryanE Date: Feb 22, 2007 5:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pig as Brent

You pretty much had me until "Brent sucks." Tisk, tisk.

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Poster: ghostofpig Date: Feb 22, 2007 5:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pig as Brent

lol :0

We'll just get rid of the Brent sucks part! Actually, as mentioned in another post, I like a fair amount of Brent's work. I think he reenergized the band in 1979 (etc.). I don't always care for his choices in cover tunes or the round robin version of Death Don't Have No Mercy, but I cannot say anything bad about his playing. I think I also mentioned that I used to play "I Will Take You Home" to my daughter when she was around 3 or 4. It was her favorite.

But I will always favor Blue Ron.

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Poster: BryanE Date: Feb 22, 2007 6:03am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pig as Brent

Okay, I'll back away.

Seriously, though, speaking as a longtime Head (30 years last October) with a pretty thorough understanding of the band's history and how they evolved over the course of their tenure, anyone who was able to watch Mr. Pen at work has my admiration big time.

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Poster: ghostofpig Date: Feb 22, 2007 6:38am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pig as Brent

Sometimes I feel as if he were the highlight of the band. Oops--there, I went and said it! At least until Jerry started playing!

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Poster: BryanE Date: Feb 22, 2007 7:55am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pig as Brent

From what I gather, a lot of people went to shows in the late 60's mainly see him work his magic. There's a reason they would save Lovelight and Midnight Hour until the end of the night-he was an impossible act to follow.